Up a creek- shallow draft only

The forecast for Friday through Saturday night of 15-25kts (17-29mph) with rain thrown in for good measure, guided our decision to locate a protected anchorage for a couple of nights. Again, ActiveCaptain proved a reliable source and we found a spot- a short but wide creek off a larger creek off the larger main ICW creek only 16nm from River Dunes. A small area only 5ft deep inside, it was perfect for us. One brave monohull joined us; have to believe their keel was rearranging the bottom just a tad. Later on we only had 4.7 ft!

We were hailed twice during our short trip to give information about conditions; once about the Neuse River and the other about depth in Cedar Creek, just off the ICW Adams Creek. Was nice to provide info for a change.

We’re considering a hop outside from Beaufort, NC (remember, this one is pronounced Beau) to the Masonboro Inlet at Wrightsville Beach, NC. Sunday, if we anchor near Ft. Macon at Beaufort (did this on our trip north) we can either head out the inlet or continue along the ICW if coastal conditions are crappy- as in waves more than 3-5ft.  The ICW route presents a bridge problem a few miles south of Beaufort with another fibbing bridge that can be less than 63ft at high tide. Boats had trouble today, so now we know we’ve got to go under at mid-tide or better. Doable if we begin our day fairly close.

A pattern is beginning to emerge as we travel; now on Day 18 we see that when we are extra cautious and over-prepare, we’re rewarded with relatively benign conditions. Geeze if that’s all we need to do…but you know that one of these times we’ll be surprised by conditions going from bad to worse and then I’ll be all over the weather folk for their lousy abilities!

Jonaquin Creek was the perfect spot- if you can ignore how little water we had underneath. The light winds and current moved us around but the monohull near us hardly budged. We had just enough cell service for emails to sneak in and out. The chartplotter provided weather- oh look, snow!  XM and FM radio added to the often quiet VHF radio. The rain forecasted skimmed by us and when we checked the chartplotter and saw blue north of us, I thought something was wrong- but then Russ said “snow”!

COLOR THE NORTHEAST- SNOW, RAIN, THUNDER

All of PA was covered in blue and it was headed northeast.  A portend of weather to come- think “last winter”- sure hope not. Benj had already reported measurable snow in VT a couple of days ago; major excitement for the young folk. We endured a chilly 55 degrees and I needed a fuzzy sweater all day. Sunday was worse; our hull was 52 degrees at 7am. Brrrr.

The nearby wildlife kept our binoculars in use all Saturday morning: two beagles swam around by the creek entrance, one of them trying to catch or play with the fish; an osprey swooped down for his morning meal; pelicans made a few attempts and we were astounded to see a dolphin swim by. I saw a few fish break the water’s surface, undoubtedly trying not to be a predator’s next meal. Last but not least, how’s this for a  creature we haven’t seen yet?

A DONKEY MUNCHES IN THE YARD

Russ nearly wore out the label maker he’d bought this summer. Everything is labeled; I’m expecting toothbrush labels too since I’ve been known to mess up and use the wrong one!

Sunday afternoon we head 16nm to Beaufort, NC to a spot near the inlet channel. Monday we’ll sail – yes- no tricks, only treats thank you- south to Wrightsville Beach. Expect this will take a solid 10 hrs.

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